Letters for Thursday, March 8, 2007

• Affordable housing attack misinformed

• When the courts fail

• Bike path work halted

• Bike path work halted

Affordable housing attack misinformed

Mr. R.S. Weir’s letter (“Affordable housing, socialist policy,” Letters, March 6) attacking JoAnn Yukimura’s suggestions on affordable housing are yet another example of the flawed thinking emanating from conservative philosophy.

Mr. Weir tries to lay the blame for a lack of affordable housing at the foot of government — the favorite whipping boy of conservatives.

He ignores successes like Kalepa Village which, of course, was heavily criticized for holding down rents to private landlords less than a decade ago. He also claims no other important commodities in our society are in “short supply” ignoring the fact that some 10- to 20-percent of our population depends on the Kaua‘i Food Bank for something as basic as part of their daily bread. Those at the bottom of the ladder struggle to acquire everything, not just housing.

Blind faith in market solutions is laughable. Private enterprise’s core goal is to maximize profit. If a builder can build one $10 million home netting him $1 million in profit or work much harder to build 40 to 50 affordable units to generate the same profit, should anyone be shocked that the builder concentrates on the former?

Even worse, unregulated markets exhibit the ugliest elements of human behavior wherein the most powerful participants use whatever tactics are possible to maximize their profits at the expense of the rest. We have rules and regulations for reasons beyond progressives simply waking up and deciding to mess with success. Thinking otherwise requires utter ignorance of the history of “Robber Barons vs. Teddy Roosevelt” or more recent scandals.

Our most contentious issues are those which are left to government to try to solve. Simple tasks like providing highly profitable, luxury mansions for the mega-rich don’t require societal tradeoffs. Perhaps our politicians have not done the best job at foreseeing this crisis and planning for it, but can anyone really say that over the 15 years since ‘Iniki, when land prices were low and large parcels changed hands, that “the market” has shown any interest in solving the problem of affordable housing?

Of course not.

David T. Camp


When the courts fail

Once again I am incredulous over the failure of our judicial system to deal with those who not only pose a danger to others, but to themselves as well. I refer to yesterday’s front page article in The Garden Island surrounding the search for Chris Santos (“Third chase nets attempted murder charge”).

This person’s arrest and conviction record (53 arrests, 17 convictions, 7 felonies) is indicative of a real public danger. How could any person with such a record be allowed to be free is beyond me.

The third felony should have been the end of his freedom. Now we have a picture in TGI of a truck load of armed SWAT teams looking for Santos.

Zero in with a rifle and “BAM,” Santos is no more.

The law is designed to protect the victimizer as well as the victim. Incarceration after the third felony would have accomplished this need.

William Marston


Noise is unbearable

I tried to be nice about this, and civil, but now, it’s so absurd, that I have to take some serious action. The development of Kiahuna Golf Course that is behind my house, has completely driven me out of my home, and prevented me from working and earning my livelihood.

Since the end of December, I have not been able to work at all in my home office. I work on the phone with clients, and I am a writer. I have not been able to work for over two months because of the noise and vibration that is being created by the breaking and grinding of the blue lava rock. This is going to continue for months, and … they are coming closer and closer to my house as time goes on. I have asked Goodfellows for assistance for relocating my office and they tell me they are not responsible. They say they want to be “good neighbors” but they are a nightmare from hell.

My life (and my neighbors) in my little island home, as I knew it, has ended. And no one cares. This is very sad. I would love to hear from others who are experiencing displacement or stress from this project, as my neighbors and I are preparing to take legal action with a class action lawsuit. You can e-mail me at: sharonjeffers@starofthemagi.com

Sharon Jeffers


Bike path work halted

David Stewart’s letter March 5, “I want my path,” gives a great overview of the faults of this proposed 17(?) mile path.

I compliment David and other bike enthusiasts like him who have used, and enjoyed the path the way it was for so many years.

I also say, “Bravo” to those equestrian people who used that cane haul road along with walkers, joggers, and motorcycle riders and were happy with the road without miles of cement along it.

Then along comes a group of bureaucrats who see a chance to go after millions of our federal tax dollars plus millions of our local dollars to build a bike/pedestrian path from Nawiliwili to Anahola.

Never mind that no study was ever done to see what the usage of this path would be — what bang we would get for our bucks. Just build it and let any problems get solved with after-the-fact permits. Certain SMA and set back permits were needed and used for this project, but under careful scrutiny from County Council members Mel Rapozo, Shaylene-Iseri Carvalho, and Ron Kouchi. These permits have proven to be illegal and the total project has been shut down as of Feb. 21.

“Yes,” as David said, “It is disappointing that the county offices responsible for permitting appears not to be able to get the ‘details’ right on county projects. But this is the modus operandi of our administration. Just look at the Hanapepe drug house project; the donated house in Koloa that we had to give back; and the tragic mess the Ka Loko Reservoir Dam break has created over possible inaction by past administration officials.

And now, because work was begun on a multi-million-dollar project that will never benefit the masses and, even worse, wasn’t researched to the finest detail, we, the people will probably end up paying thousands of dollars more in fines to the contractors who had legitimate contracts and must wait indefinitely to begin work again.

Glenn Mickens



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